Ponda students block pvt buses


Angry students on Monday blocked a number of private buses at the Ponda bus stand after accusing private bus operators of harassing students who avail of discounted fares.
According to the agitating students, the bus operators were reluctant to allow students board the buses and in some cases, were forcing students to stand in overcrowded buses.
The students did not allow the buses to leave the bus stand for over an hour and it was only when officers from the Ponda Road Transport Office (RTO) assured to look into the matter, that the buses were allowed to ply to their respective destinations. Ponda Police also rushed to the spot to avoid any untoward incident.
The protest was organised by the Goa University’s Student Council and students from various colleges in Ponda taluka participated in the agitation. Goa University Students’ council member Amol Arlekar, son of Speaker Rajendra Arlekar, was also among the agitating students.
“Private bus operators do not allow us to board the buses and sometimes force us to stand and the only reason is that we are travelling half-ticket,” said Goa University Students’ Council President Gaurang Panandikar.
“Students from all over the State have been complaining and we won’t keep quiet in the matter. The bus operators are harassing us and authorities should not test our patience. We had written to the transport department in December regarding the issue,” said Panandikar.
The students also brought to the notice of the RTO the overcrowded buses that entered the bus stand. Five overcrowded buses identified by the students were immediately issued challans by the RTO.
An officer requested the students to immediately inform the RTO Ponda office of any such incidents. [H]